New York Mets: Is Steven Matz finally dependable?

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 01: Steven Matz (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 01: Steven Matz (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

As this failure of a season continues for the New York Mets, it’s time to dive into one of the only bright spots of the 2018 campaign: Steven  Matz.

Steven Matz was one of the New York Mets biggest question marks coming into 2018. He has always been a pitcher that had the talent, but lacked the consistency and health needed to be a top starter.

In 2015, he missed time with a torn lat, and he suffered an elbow injury at the end of 2016 that caused him to miss time at the start of 2017. Even after that, he was never fully healthy in 2017 and his season ended early with surgery on that elbow.

That surgery seems to have been what helped Matz finally turn the corner.

Matz has turned into a reliable starting pitcher in 2018.

According to Baseball Reference, He has a 3.68 ERA, down about 2.50 points from his 2017 ERA. Matz is also striking out 1.5 more batters per 9 innings this season. Outside of his start in Colorado, a known hitter’s park, Matz hasn’t given up more than 4 runs in a start.

Matz is also proving to be no push over when runners are in scoring position. Opponents have a .212 average in those situations, according to FanGraphs.

His mental toughness is something that both Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland have been stressing as an area Matz needed to improve throughout this season.

Matz has clearly taken that message to heart.

As the Mets season is clearly heading towards a trade deadline sell-off, the question lingers as to whether Matz should be a trade candidate.

His improving numbers and toughness is certainly something that teams in contention would be attracted to.

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However, Steven isn’t a free agent until after the 2022 season. The fact that he is a young, controllable asset is something that the Mets will value.

Matz is someone they should build around, as his 4 years of control left is something that will entice the Mets.

Steven has clearly developed himself into someone the Mets can rely on to take the mound every fifth day and give the team a chance to win.